Casey Capers - USA

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Vol. 23 No. 5 - 31 July, 2019

Loaded at John Deere Dubuque on Monday, 1 July.  It was pouring rain when we loaded.
Internet:  John Deere Dubuque Works.  The need for a new factory to make tractors became apparent to Deere and Company in 1943.  On February 7, 1945, the company announced that it had selected a site for the facility three miles north of Dubuque in an area known as the “Peru Bottoms”.  Among the reasons for choosing Dubuque was the city’s proximity to other Deere plants in Moline, Waterloo, and Ottumwa, and because of the excellent transportation facilities.  Seven hundred and forty-two acres of land were purchased.  This was the first tractor factory the Deere constructed from the ground up.  The Dubuque plant opened in May, 1947.  On March 12, 1947, the first Dubuque tractor, the model “M” rolled off the assembly line.

Dubuque Iowa to Ladson, South Carolina.
Each machine delivered to a different equipment company - Quality Equipment in Carthage, North Carolina, Quality Equipment in Wallace, North Carolina, and the backhoe to Flint Equipment in Ladson, South Carolina, all John Deere dealers.
A bit of fun with the shed out the front of the truckstop - Dunn, North Carolina.
Wednesday afternoon, after delivering, we parked at the Atlas Van Lines Company, that our friends Don and Madonna own in Summerville (outside Charleston).  Friends from the furniture moving days.  That evening, Michi and Patrick met us all at the Dog & Duck Pub for dinner.
Thursday, was the 4th July holiday - we went out with Don and Madonna and their youngest son, Michael in their boat.

Charleston is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers.


We motored up the Ashley River.

Past some old plantations and river communities.

Then return along the river to the harbor, under the bridges, past marinas, past Fort Sumter, and the Port of Charleston.

Internet:  Fort Sumter, is a sea fort in Charleston, South Carolina.  Named after General Thomas Sumter, Revolutionary War hero. Fort Sumter was built after the War of 1812, as one of a series of fortifications on the southern US coast to protect the harbors.

Ravenel Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant.  The eight-lane bridge is US Route 17.

Port of Charleston.
It was mostly an overcast day, so a little cooler than the sun beating down.  We had a great time, saw Charleston from a different angle.  Took the boat back to the marina, and it is lifted out of the water and stored like this.
The storms had been closing in towards the end of our boat run, and struck after we were headed back to the house.  Decided the 4th July fireworks would be a bit damp.  Went to a fabulous Italian Restaurant Red Pepper that evening.
Jim and I stayed another night with Don and Madonna, and were up early on the Friday morning, back in the truck and headed to Pooler, Georgia to load at JCB, Inc.
Pooler, Georgia to Geismar, Louisiana.
Through the westbound tunnel under Mobile Bay on Interstate 10,
Internet: The George Wallace Tunnel is a pair of road tunnels that carry Interstate Highway 10 through Mobile, Alabama, from downtown, beneath the Mobile River.  The depth of clearance is 40 feet (12.2m) for the Mobile River shipping channel.  The tunnels were officially opened on 9 February, 1973 and named after George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama at that time.

An easy run to Louisiana, though very hot and humid.  We had a day and a half off, but opted not to unload the motorbike, it was not comfortable motorcycling weather.  Decided two nights in a motel in air conditioning was a more pleasant choice.   And a great Mexican Restaurant across the street, El Paso.

Monday morning, 8 July, we delivered the JCB forklift to a United Rentals in Geismar, Louisiana, south of Baton Rouge.  Our reload had been scheduled on the previous Friday, a 240 miles deadhead to Alabama, but it paid good and was going to the area we wanted.  10 miles to our pick up, we were notified that it would not be shipping until later in the week!  Oh well, found another load back 100 miles to Gulfport, Mississippi at the Mississippi State Port Authority Port.
It is a small port, with friendly workers and easy to navigate.  It was mid-afternoon when we arrived and there were a dozen or so trucks ahead of us, and later about ten behind us.  It took a long time to load all those trucks.

Trucks ahead of us, in line to load.
A bit of movement in the Port though.  I watched one of the tug boats head out into the shipping channel and escort a large freighter into the dock.  Then start unloading it.
One tug boat heading out to the shipping channel.
The freighter heading to the dock to be unloaded.
The freighter and tug boat can be seen the other side of the truck through the window, the doggy was more interested in watching me! 
San Adriano is a container ship built in 2008 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, in South Korea.  Currently sailing under the flag of Liberia, home port Monrovia. The freight was Chiquita Fresh Foods.
From Port of Gulfport’s Facebook page:   10 June: Vehicles and equipment from the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team return to Mississippi after a successful deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield.  The ability to utilize the Port of Gulfport saves time and money in getting equipment back to home stations.
Our load was a flatbed trailer for the Illinois Army National Guard in Kankakee, Illinois.
Gulfport, Mississippi to Kankakee, Illinois. 
It was dusk when we finally got loaded, the paperwork and out of the Port.

Gulfport, Mississippi.

We drove to the north side of Gulfport when the log book was out of time.  Nice sunset from our parking spot looking over the Truckstop.
Tropical Storm/then Hurricane Barry was a few days away when we loaded, so happy to head north.  An easy drive, crossed the Mississippi River a couple of times.

Mississippi River bridge from Missouri to Illinois, Interstate 57.
The military flatbed trailer delivered to the Illinois Army National Guard in Kankakee, Illinois.  A large, new facility only 2 years old.
Our next load was back to John Deere Works in Dubuque, Iowa.  It was a longer deadhead that we like, but we had an event we wanted to attend in Western New York, and the load fit our schedule.  Took some back roads in Illinois, some were closed due to damage sustained from the flooding couple of months ago.  Several detours and we went through some interesting towns.

Ended up on the highway we had been on at the end of last month while out on the motorbike.  Back through Savanna, Illinois, through the Iowa Island town of Sabula, then along the Mississippi River, north to Dubuque.
Savanna, Illinois.

Late afternoon crossing the Mississippi River in the truck, and I could take a couple of photos.

The causeway to Sabul from Illinois side. 
Wednesday morning was an early load at John Deere Works, Dubuque, Iowa - three machines for three stops in New York state.
In line, waiting to load at John Deere Works, Dubuque, Iowa.

Dubuque, Iowa to Clymer, Rochester and Clifton Park, New York.
For the first part of the drive east, we travelled more back roads - through Amish country.
Delivered the small track loader to an equipment company in Clymer, New York on Friday early afternoon, then to the truckstop in Irving, NY.  That evening, Jim's second cousin, Nancy met us at the truckstop and we had a nice catch up and fish fry dinner with her.
Saturday afternoon was the 50th (Golden) Wedding Anniversary for Dave and Sandy (Jim's friends from High School), held in nearby Sunset Beach.  A happy gathering of their family and friends to celebrate this milestone.

Lesley, Jim, Sandy and Dave.
We stayed at the truckstop that night.  It was the Native Pride truckstop, on the Seneca Nation Reservation.  We have stopped here many times to eat, this time I took a couple photos and got some information on the Seneca Nation.
Sky Woman: The mother goddess of Seneca mythology.
This unique bronze statue is a literal depiction of a chaotic Creation.  Skywoman was one of the “sky beings” who fell through a hole in the sky. Her fall on to the big turtle was broken by large birds, here portrayed as Canada Geese.
Several other animals there to help as well.

Stayed Sunday night at Joe and Michele's and Jimmy was in there as well.  Jim and I were out and about on the motorbike for lunch and a stop at Windy Brew.  Joe and Michele cooked out on the deck in the evening - weather was warm!  It was a lovely family gathering.  Jim and I left early Monday morning, 15 July - with fog over the fields near Joe and Michele's.
Delivered the John Deere backhoe to an equipment place in Rochester, NY in the morning, then the track loader near Albany, NY in the afternoon.
South to Endicott, NY, to load Tuesday morning at National Pipe and Plastic - plastic pipe for Florida.
At National Pipe and Plastic, Inc., Endicott, New York.
Endicott, New York to Yulee, Florida.

A stop at the Virginia Welcome Centre.
Wednesday morning was a beautiful sunrise at the truckstop in Raphine, Virginia.

An impressive new Rest Area and Welcome Centre on I 95 at Port Wentworth, Georgia.
Inside is a lighthouse, a trolley car, palmetto and palm trees with the information, brochures, etc. for Georgia tourism. Also a snack bar!

Another sunrise for Thursday morning, 18 July in Brunswick, southern Georgia.
Delivered the load of plastic pipe to a new housing construction sub-division near Yulee, north of Jacksonville, Florida.  Then to Daytona Beach.  After parking the truck, loading the car and on the way to the house, we stopped at Tia Cori's for lunch.  It is beside the Beach Street Post Office, and I always appreciate the beautiful Post Office building.  First time I have noticed the faces on the window grills on the top floor.

The Beach Street Post Office was added to the US National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Internet:  Style: Mediterranean Revival.  It is a two story building.  The front portico is faced with stone from Florida Keys.  A series of five arches frame the windows of the first floor.  Four cast iron light standards on limestone bases are situated on either side of the front entrances.  Built as a work project in the Depression (1932).

Friday morning, 19 July, in Daytona Beach was an early start on the appointments and errands for the day.  Drove north along the west side of the Halifax River in Holly Hill.  Took a few quick pictures out the car window towards the sun rising.

The truck had to be taken to the mechanic again - trying to figure out where coolant is disappearing to.  Friday evening at Kevin and Rie's place - drinks and dinner and good conversation and stories shared with them.
Saturday, Jim and Jimmy left early for a full day fishing on the Critter Fleet out of Ponce Inlet.  Diane and I spent five hours exploring and enjoying South Beach Street.

The historic business district of South Beach Street, Daytona Beach.  Five blocks of unique stores, restaurants, bars, antique shops, vintage clothes and other specialty stores (like a magic shop).

We had a coffee and pastry at Rosie's Italian Bakery and Cafe - lovely!  Spent a lot of time in the antique stores and specialty shops.  The Burgoyne Memorial was built a few years ago, we had a leisurely time, reading the plaques - information and history of Beach Street.

 Great old pictures.

Daytona Beach Fire Department when it was new - about 1910??.
Daytona Beach Fire Department still in use and active in the present time. (Appears to be the same two palm trees?)
A photo of the Beach Street Post Office soon after it was built in 1932!
The 'new' Beach Street Post Office.
The Main Street bridge in the early 1930's - not much has changed!

 A bit of Daytona Beach history regarding South Beach Street – Mr Charles Burgoyne moved to Daytona Beach from New York and built a large castle inspired mansion on this site in 1896. He immediately became an important civic leader in the Daytona Beach community.  By 1899 he had become Mayor of Daytona Beach and Commodore of the Daytona Yacht Club.
By 1939 after the death of Mr and Mrs Burgoyne, the property had fallen into disrepair, and was bought by a Jacksonville businessman, and demolition of the Burgoyne mansion began shortly thereafter, followed by the construction of the brick and masonry buildings that occupy the property today.  By the late 1940s the block was a bustling commercial district with department stores, a theatre and a Piggly Wiggly grocery store.
The 1970s saw the opening of the Volusia Mall and a decline in the Beach Street commercial district. Many buildings fell in disrepair and much of the property was vacant through the 1980s.
In 1990 saw the City of Daytona Beach renovate building facades and revitalize the streets, sidewalks and landscaping.  Tenants began to return, by 1995 the property was 100% occupied with a waiting list for prospective tenants.

The beautiful Kress Building is a favourite of mine.  Mostly offices and specialists occupy it, but the architecture is lovely.

Diane and I stopped for a browse in Angel & Phelps Chocolate store.  Found an explanation of 'sponge candy', what we call 'honeycomb' in Australia.

Walkway to the rear parking lot.
Halifax Historical Muweum - the old bank building.
Internet:  Brownie the Town Dog of Daytona Beach was a stray dog who lived in downtown Daytona Beach from 1939 until his death in 1954.  He lived in a custom dog-house, had a bank account in the Florida Bank & Trust, and dined on steak and ice cream.  He had not owner and was loved by the entire city.  Brownie was featured in local and national publications and became one of the most written about dogs in US history.
Brownie’s grave is located in historic downtown Daytona Beach’s Riverfront Park, near the Halifax River, on the corner of Orange Avenue and Beach Street.

Burgoyne Village is part of the Riverfront Shops of Daytona Beach.  Overlooking a beautifully landscaped park and the Intracoastal Waterway, the walkway is known as the Sweetheart Trail
The Sweetheart Trail offers a paved route nestled between Beach Street and the Halifax River.  It’s named after a yacht owned by Charles G Burgoyne.  The pathway begins at the Main Street Bridge and south to Orange Avenue.
I found this patch of melaleuca trees - Australian!!  Also known as paper-barks, honey-myrtles, tea-trees or bottle brushes (the shape of the flower!)

International Speedway Boulevard / Broadway Bridge, US 92 - over the Intra-coastal waterway and Halifax River to 'beach-side'. 
Internet:  The Broadway Bridge is a segmented bridge, it reaches a height of 65 feet (19.9 metres) and is 3,008 feet (917 metres) in length.  The bridge is more famous for its flair than its purpose.  Mosaics of manatee, dolphins and other wildlife native to Florida give the bridge some tourist appeal.

Diane and I had a memorable time playing tourist in Daytona Beach!
Jim and Jimmy both caught fish as well.

On the Monday, Jim was working on the truck, so Diane and I spent a couple of hours in Ormond Beach at The Casements. 
Internet:  The Casements is a mansion in Ormond Beach, Florida, famous for being the winter residence of American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. It is currently owned by the city of Ormond Beach and is used as a cultural center and park.

The mansion was built in 1914 for Rev. Harwood Huntington of Connecticut.  It was named for the many casement windows incorporated into the design of the building, which helped keep the interior cool in spite of Florida’s subtropical climate.

John D. Rockefeller purchased the home as his winter residence in 1918.  Rockefeller was seventy-eight years old when he moved into the Casements.  He became known in the area for his elaborate Christmas parties, his love of golf, and for handing out dimes to his neighbors or visitors.
It was in this home that Rockefeller died in his sleep on the morning of May 23, 1937.  The Rockefeller family sold The Casements in 1941. 

The gardens across from The Casements (Rockefeller Gardens) are an authentic restoration of the two-acre garden along the Halifax riverfront.  The gardens feature citrus trees, a grand promenade, streams and small bridges and a variety of seasonal flower displays during the year.

On Wednesday, 24 July, I took an early morning walk to the Atlantic Ocean to appreciate the sunrise. 
The play area on A1A, on the west side - with the pedestrian bridge over A1A.
On the pedestrian bridge, looking north along A1A.
On the pedestrian bridge, looking south along A1A.
The shops and restaurants of Ocean Walk.

There was a convention going on, and a big crowd of young people at the beach for the sunrise.

The water playground near the Main Street Pier.

Went for another walk about mid -day.

The house across the street from us - termites!  We had our annual termite inspection prior to this.
Spacex Rocket Falcon 9 launched just after 6pm from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, 25th.
Internet:  A previously flown Falcon 9 rocket thundered to life and shot away from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, 15th July, boosting a twice-flown Dragon cargo ship into orbit on a two-day flight to the International Space Station.
The rocket’s first stage flew itself back to a pinpoint touchdown five and a half miles from the launch pad, chalking up SpaceX’s 44th successful booster recovery and its 16th at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Dragon cargo capsule carrying 5,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station.
A lot of cloud cover In Daytona Beach, Diane and I watched the rocket launch from the Main Street Pier, but there was only a few seconds that we saw the rocket 'fire' before it was blocked by the clouds, then it was visible again high in the sky.  I didn't get any photos of the actual rocket.

At the Main Street Pier.
Then a walk back along Main Street - it is very quiet at this time of the year.

Jimmy was at home most of the time we were in Daytona Beach.  He lives in Holly Hill, so we were over that way a few times.  A few more photos of the Halifax River from the western side in Holly Hill.

Friday evening concert at the Bandshell was a Garth Brooks tribute band - and was so much fun.  The weather started out with a few rain showers but they held off for the concert.

Saturday evening we caught up with Lis and Harvey at Brian's Barbeque in Deland.  It was 'buy one, get one' baby back ribs!  Good company and good food, a good deal!
Caught up with Jimmy Sunday morning for breakfast at Heffer's.  I took a few more photos of the sun coming up and the Halifax River from the Holly Hill side - again!

"Home of the Holly Hill Gnomes" is beside the Halifax River and Riverfront Drive.  I have seen them many times - but first time to I could stop and take a photo.

Internet:  In 2003, a resident of Holly Hill asked permission of the City Council to allow three wandering gnomes to take up residence in a tall oak tree on Riverside Drive on the banks of the Halifax River. Approval was given and the gnomes set up camp at the base of the tree.
When the local elementary school heard about the new citizens, they gave the gnomes names, Hall, Lee and Hill.  A year later a motorcycle gnome, Harry Davidson got permission to move into the gnome tree, soon after a gnome called Grandpa joined the group.
As news about the gnomes spread, the gnome tree attracted attention from around the country, and the world to visit Holly Hill in hopes of getting a glimpse of the bearded figures.
Obviously the gnome 'family' has been added to over the years, as well as gifts and trinkets.

In 2014, the caretaker and gnome ambassador retired, and donated all the notes left at the tree to the Holly Hill Museum.  She hopes the gnome tree will continue to "spread joy, hope, and peace" to future visitors long after she's gone.
Jim and I left Daytona Beach Sunday afternoon to be ready to load in Pooler, Georgia on Monday morning.
Loaded at JCB, Inc. in Pooler, Geirgia.
During the morning pre-trip inspection - found this 'bulge' in the drivers side steer tyre, so that required an urgent stop, to get a new one!  There was a place close to get a commercial tyre.
Then to Keen Transport to load a JCB mini-excavator.
Pooler, Georgia to Kansas City, Kansas and Des Moines, Iowa.
An easy drive to Kansas City, Kansas to deliver the mini-excavator to an equipment place on Wednesday morning, 31 July, then delivered the forklift to United Rentals in Des Moines, Iowa early afternoon.
No reload lined up, so we just went to the truckstop.  There is Jethro's BBQ & Jake's Smokehouse Steaks restaurant a half mile walk from the truckstop.
Jethro's BBQ and Jake's Smokehouse Steaks is a mini-chain in the Des Moines area.  A fun place, with good food.  Great atmosphere and pig and bacon decor.  It has been on several TV shows and food documentaries.

I had the "Better Homes & Gardens" Melt.